Wednesday 7 December 2016

A spoonful of sugar could be just the tonic

Published 08/12/2015 | 02:30

Sugar - a spoonful added to water could be more effective than a sports drink.
Sugar - a spoonful added to water could be more effective than a sports drink.

Adding a spoonful of table sugar to a glass of water could be just as good as - or better than - a sports drink.

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The news comes from a study that compared whether a group of long-distance cyclists performed better when they had a glucose or sucrose mix drink.

Fourteen experienced male cyclists were randomly given a drink of sucrose or glucose stirred into water before and during a three-hour cycling stint.

Both drinks maintained the body's glucose stores, which are broken down to provide energy during physical activity if there's not enough glucose available in the bloodstream. However, researchers found the cyclists performed better on the sucrose drink.

Many sports drinks designed to provide energy during exercise use sucrose or mixes of glucose and fructose - but many still rely on glucose alone. Sucrose is made up of glucose and fructose, whereas glucose is available in a form ready to be used by the body.

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